Columbus man sentenced to 25 years on meth trafficking charges

Published: Sep. 8, 2023 at 2:57 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 8, 2023 at 6:09 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A Columbus resident with a violent criminal history was sentenced to serve 25 years in prison after a federal jury convicted him on charges related to armed methamphetamine trafficking.

On September 5, 42-year-old Karzarta Piett was sentenced to serve 25 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release.

Piett was convicted on Feb. 14 of possession of more than five grams of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon following a two-day trial.

“This sentencing sends a clear message that we will not tolerate violent criminals and drug traffickers in our community,” said Columbus Police Chief Stoney Mathis. “The collaboration between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, as exemplified in this case, demonstrates our commitment to reducing violent crime and keeping our neighborhoods safe. We thank the dedicated officers and agents who worked tirelessly to bring this individual to justice.”

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Piett was pulled over by Columbus Police Department officers for multiple traffic violations on Jan. 7, 2021.

Piett was driving with a suspended license. Officers requested a K-9 unit after they noticed drug residue in the car, and a drug detection canine alerted to the presence of narcotics. A search of the defendant’s vehicle based on probable cause recovered two ounces of methamphetamine, a loaded pistol, a digital scale, plastic bags and approximately $1,500 cash in the center console, plus more than $2,000 cash in Piett’s pocket.

A check of the defendant’s criminal background revealed a lengthy criminal history spanning 20 years, with five prior felony convictions including two separate convictions for aggravated assault and convictions for kidnapping, false imprisonment, robbery, terroristic threats and multiple drug distribution charges.

Following Piett’s sentencing, he will be transferred to the Middle District of Alabama, where he is currently under indictment for conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine.